From Sept. 15 to 17, student filmmakers at Capital University gathered in teams to produce short films for the fifth annual 48-Hour Film Royale.
All of the work put into the films, including screenwriting, rehearsing, set and costume design, shooting, editing, and sound, were required to occur during the 48-hour time period. Students were permitted to organize cast and crew as well as secure equipment in the days leading up to the event.
The event held its kickoff at 6 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 15, when student filmmakers gathered in the lobby of the Convergent Media Center to receive the genre, line of dialogue, and prop that must be incorporated into their film. The completed films, of a length between three and five minutes, were due to be submitted by 6 p.m. on Sunday at the Drexel Theater, where all of the student films were shown to both the audience and judges.
At the end of the night, “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” by the student team Capital University Cinema Kids took home first place, while “Master of Nun” by Wubba Lubba Dub Dub took home second and “Low Blow” by Kaleidoscope Cream received the audience choice award.
“It’s a huge relief seeing it on screen and just having it over with,” junior Chelsea Swigert, member of the student team Fice Productions, which produced “A Day in the Life of a Hero,” said. “I also really liked editing it, seeing it come together.”
Jack Warner, junior and member of the student team Kids That Draw in Class, also felt the relief of seeing the finished project on the screen Sunday night.
“The best part is watching everything, because you know you’re done,” Warner said. “You know you’re done when you get to see it.”
Junior Mike Lewis, who paired up with Warner to produce the short film “Drive-Thru,” said that most of the film, which fell under the genre of a “buddy comedy,” was improvised.
“I have 43 gigabytes on my laptop of all that was improvised,” said Lewis. “We don’t have a script – even just the scenes on the couch were completely off-the-top of the head.”
Brian Kirby, a fellow junior, was apart of the same team as Swigert, and said that much of the dialogue in “A Day in the Life of a Hero” was also improvised.
“A majority of the lines that we had were improvisation, and I naturally stumble over words all the time so that took quite a bit of takes,” Kirby said. “That was probably the hardest thing for me.”
Fice Productions pulled a lot of inspiration from television shows like “The Office” and “Rick and Morty,” according to Swigert and Kirby respectively.
“[We] wanted to do a little bit of a mockumentary-type structure while still adhering to our genre that we had,” said Michael Bernot, junior and fellow member of Fice Productions. “I’ve never worked on film before personally, so this was definitely pretty sweet. I did the music; that was pretty fun to do.”
Lewis said that filming “Drive-Thru” with a team of two was stressful.
“It was just us two with a camera,” Lewis said. “The last couple of hours was rough because you’re like ‘I don’t know if this is going to be done.’”
Senior Stephanie Holmes of Fice Productions said editing was a rougher part of the process as well.
“Editing was super stressful because I think we edited for about ten or eleven hours, and things kept messing up,” Holmes said. “We came [to the Drexel] to submit, but then something was wrong so we had to go back and export it and I was about to cry.”
Overall, a general consensus among the student filmmakers was that they would all participate in the event again if given the chance.
“I’m sad that I’m graduating, and haven’t done this before,” Holmes said. “Maybe I’ll go to grad school or sometime in the future an opportunity like this will present itself.